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Why a Mongrel Mob Leader is Helping New Zealand Police Hunt Kidnappers

Waikato Mob leader Sonny Fatupaito feels obligated as a father to hunt them down.

Late last week, a man attempted to grab a 12-year-old girl in Hamilton as she walked to school. Sonny Fatupaito didn't know the girl. But the Mongrel Mob leader says he feels obligated, as a father, to hunt down the people who tried to snatch her.

Fatupaito, of the Waikato Mob, has threatened to "take the law into [his] own hands" if the kidnappers who attempted to abduct the schoolgirl on Thursday don't turn themselves in. It's thought that there were also two other men involved, who waited in a nearby car.


"You know they [police] can't do it all on their own," Fatupaito told "Whether the police like to accept this or not, we're just members of the community, too." Fatupaito said he's already "touched base" with various connections, boasting the mob's network extends as far as Australia.

The girl, a pupil of Whitiora Primary, managed to escape her kidnapper's clutches and run to school. She described her kidnapper to police as a 30- to 40-year-old Maori man. He was shoeless, wearing striped black-and-red socks.

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Police are searching for a silver mid-1990s Nissan Pulsar four-door sedan, which the two other men kept parked with the motor running during the attempted kidnapping. Detective Senior Sergeant Daryl Smith refused to comment on the mob's involvement, but said the hunt was continuing.

Fatupaito described his participation in the search as a "second-line of defence".

"I've got a 10-year-old who goes to school just around the corner. He's always accompanied, no matter what…You know, it just goes to show, when you think places are safe, especially around schools, well, they're not—not at all."

Fatupaito confirmed that he and his networks, like police, are also looking for the car and the trio, although he wouldn't expand on who these connections may be.

Police are currently without witnesses, but are interested in hearing from a woman walking a Siberian Husky puppy at the site of the attack around 8.30 AM.

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